[Review] ‘Welcome To The Blumhouse’ Builds A Second Story On Revenge And Rivalry With EVIL EYE And NOCTURNE

Continuing to build up the stories of its collection, literally and figuratively, Blumhouse and Amazon Studios’ chilling series Welcome To The Blumhouse enters another level of family-focused nightmares. The films Evil Eye and Nocturne quarter off the entries of the house, each bringing a poignant sense of storytelling to the table and joining the ménage of terrifying narratives that are proudly on display. Evil Eye sees a woman cursed by the memory of her abusive and obsessed partner as Nocturne shines the light on a young woman’s damning ability to perform musically and surrender unwittingly.

Daring to expose the ugly situations and circumstances families of all walks of life face, Welcome To The Blumhouse offers up a worthy second-night stay. Adding to the respective chapters that delve into the depths of household and emotional duress, Evil Eye and Nocturne explore the themes of inherited infliction and relative rivalry.

 



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Evil Eye

Upon first glance and initial reaction to the symbol of an evil eye, many might associate it with a negative force. However, the small, simple design dating back to Mesopotamian society and spanning across various cultures is actually a charm meant to keep bad energies and negative intentions away from its holder. When it comes to horror stories, there are many evil spirits to ward off, but what happens when the spirit refuses to go away? Directors Elan Dassani and Rajeev Dassani (Jinn) adorn the home with curses and reincarnation for their entry to the Welcome To The Blumhouse collection by answering that exacy question.

Written by Madhuri Shekar based on her Audible Original story, Evil Eye is a perfect blend of rom-com and thriller contents. The lore behind the ancient symbol of protection works its power as “a seemingly perfect romance turns into a nightmare when a woman becomes convinced that her daughter’s new boyfriend has a dark connection to her own past.” Starring Sunita Mani (GLOW), Sarita Choudhury (Homeland), Omar Maskati (Unbelievable), and Bernard White (The Matrix Revolutions), Evil Eye takes on the global problem of abuse and trauma spanning the great distance from New Orleans in the United States to Delhi in India.  

 

[…] Evil Eye is a perfect blend of rom-com and thriller contents.”

 

Evil Eye incorporates and appreciates the traditions of Indian culture while it infuses modern behaviors and beliefs to create a compatible narrative for Welcome To The Blumhouse. Displaying the contrast in the homes and roles of women in the family smartly portrays the comparison in goals, duties, and desires attributed to their agencies as individuals. Split screens and flashbacks give the linear storyline dimension and expositional depth with a slight element of surprise as one young woman struggles with maintaining her identity and independence, while her mother battles the apprehension of her intentions and emotions. The film is striking and colorful with appealing visuals that give the film a very attractive liveliness despite its incredibly dark subject matter.

The topical composition of failures, expectations, pressures, and blind obedience work and weave in a cohesive flow between the relationships shared within the family structure and the impact of vengeful scorn. Nuanced performances from Sarita Choudhury, Sunita Mani, and Bernard White alike lends tremendous heart to Evil Eye’s evolving paranoia and suspenseful dread. Ending on a high note with a great mother-daughter team up against the predator that oppressed them is so endearing and enjoyable that viewers will find themselves rooting the women on in their fight against abuse. The vicious cycle of brutalization and blame is imbued through the reincarnation of dangerous lovers past as well as the everlasting effect that experience has on victims and the ones they care about the most.

 

Nocturne

The word ‘nocturne’ is defined as “a musical composition that is inspired by, or evocative of, the night” and the apt title of Zu Quirke’s feature film debut for Welcome To The Blumhouse. Sibling rivalry is a very contentious point of connection, as opposing and natural as the sun and the moon. Nocturne checks into the home of familial and Faustian pacts as friendly competition goes from a warm moment in the spotlight to a deep dark cave in a tale of one sister’s desperation and doom.

Sydney Sweeney (Euphoria), Madison Iseman (Annabelle Comes Home), Jacques Colimom (Uncanny Annie), Ivan Shaw (Almost Perfect), Julie Benz (Jawbreaker), and Brandon Keener (The Purge: Anarchy) make up the talented ensemble cast of the inspired film, placing Sweeney in the place of the vulnerable, uncertain lead against her excelling, inspired sister played by Iseman. The showdown of the arts begins when “Inside the halls of an elite arts academy, a timid music student begins to outshine her more accomplished and outgoing twin sister when she discovers a mysterious notebook belonging to a recently deceased classmate.” What begins as a simple story of sympathy eventually creates a rivalrous, ruthless glow conducting the nefarious works of the condemned and the committed. 

 

[Zu] Quirke’s contemporary deal-with-the-devil story orchestrates (good one, I know) heavy auditory and visual tones.”

 

Nocturne is the most elegant addition to the Welcome To The Blumhouse films so far and it is not just because of its modern display of classical music education and career. Quirke’s contemporary deal-with-the-devil story orchestrates (good one, I know) heavy auditory and visual tones. Between the cold grey and blue tones hit with bursts of sunny yellows and golds and the prickling grace of instrumental music, the film serves well to create an environment that feeds on the warm aura of success and praise. The judgment and jealousy manifested between Sweeney and Iseman is a heartbreaking connection enhanced by beautiful symbolism, motifs, and subtle reflections. The passive aggressive fight for a spotlight solo draws an incredibly tense tone that hits all the right keys in a portrait of dire determination.

Embracing the powerful notes of musical themes, Nocturne is a melodic sequence of bold cuts, dreamy scenes, and musing beats set to one young woman’s newfound confidence and the consequences the follow. Knowing the quintessential lessons that follow any agreement written in blood, it’s obvious that Sweeney’s fallen heroine will pay the price eventually, but it’s a familiar surprise to see just what having it all costs her in the end. Nocturne is an enlightening emphasis on the true work and sacrifice that is made to be the best of the best in a cutthroat field that leaves no room for sibling civics.

 

Indignant Individuality

In yet another very complementary pairing, Welcome To The Blumhouse brings various storytellers together under one roof to present different films in a collection shrouded in grief, trauma, survival, and strength. Evil Eye and Nocturne effectively play out their narratives with nuanced elements and leveled components of both human and supernatural horrors. The otherworldly superstitions and beliefs feed the cause and solutions of the plots with comprehensive grips and fluid applications. Slight hints of revenge pepper both Evil Eye and Nocturne, but Elan and Rajeev Dassani’s installment arrives at a more hopeful resolve than the harsh, blunt landing found at the end of Quirke’s musical number.

Both films seem to embody a more horror-centric constitution by incorporating a strong presence of mystical factors unlike The Lie and Black Box, which rely on human and science-based fears. Of these films that do venture outside of earthly limitations, the narrative relies on mostly practical visuals which keeps the films authentic and commendable in quality. Nocturne has some jarring added digital effects, but none that majorly detracts from its story or mounting risk. Serving the ultimate purpose of distinct sets, the films’ differences are what make the collection such an entertaining and topical construction to be enjoyed by many.  

 

Evil Eye and Nocturne effectively play out their narratives with nuanced elements and leveled components of both human and supernatural horrors.”

 

Interesting enough, by coincidence or design, Evil Eye and Nocturne both revolve around a grand scheme of modern-day practices in tradition that proves to be a pleasantly unique forum of horror genre expression. Evil Eye is a meaningful exercise in transitioning Indian values and customs through an outlet that often ignores the exotic heritage behind average characters. Nocturne takes classical music, a dying breed amongst the digital streaming age, and revives its disciplined conventions through young aspiring musicians and their quest for achievement.

Both films show the doom and aftermath of what happens when passions get in the way of probity. Independence and individuality run strong through the stories as two women’s choices, consequences, and their lasting effects are put to the rest. Welcome To The Blumhouse has aimed to bring horror home by opening the doors of diversity in culture, filmmakers, and points of view. The storytellers of this series have come together to join good company in quality entertainment. 

 

Have you accepted the invitation to ‘Welcome To The Blumhouse‘? Have you seen Elan and Rajeev Dassani’s Evil Eye and Zu Quirke’s Nocturne? Which one is your favorite? Which entry have you liked the best so far: The Lie, Black Box, Nocturne or Evil Eye? Let us know your thoughts over on Twitter, Reddit, or in the Horror Movie Fiend Club on Facebook!

 

Review: Welcome To The Blumhouse: Evil Eye and Nocturne (2020)
TLDR
Both films show the doom and aftermath of what happens when passions get in the way of probity. Independence and individuality run strong through the stories as two women’s choices, consequences, and their lasting effects are put to the rest. Welcome To The Blumhouse has aimed to bring horror home by opening the doors of diversity in culture, filmmakers, and points of view. The storytellers of this series have come together to join good company in quality entertainment. 
Evil Eye
85
Nocturne
80
Paranoid Pairing
80
Cultural and Musical Infusion
90
83
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